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Europe’s Best City Beaches

Sarah Black March 1st, 2019

Here at Osprey Holidays, we have rounded up a list of our most popular destinations to inspire and help you plan this year’s summer break that combine city charm with the natural beauty of a nearby beach. These best-of-both-world cities are created for those who want to take advantage of the holiday sun and escape to the sand and sea. Whether you’re looking for a beach for relaxing, sunbathing or water sports, we’ve got you covered in our handpicked list which also features some hidden gems!

1. Grand Plage, Biarritz

Grand Plage Beach, Biarritz

Biarritz Grand Plage is the liveliest beach in the city and you’ll see people basking in the sun as well as some engaging in surfing or bodyboarding. This stretch of beach is lined with prestigious and iconic buildings such as the Hotel du Palais (re-opening Summer 2019), the casino, charming cafés and seaside restaurants. The Grand Plage truly is a picture-perfect beach dotted with pastel striped, vintage-style tents.

2. Praia da Ursa, Lisbon

Praia da Ursa beach, Lisbon

This unspoiled little beach is the local’s worst kept secret. It is set on the west coast of the Atlantic, hidden in the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. The name of the beach derives from the Rocha da Ursa, translated to the “bear rock”, there are two of these huge rocks at the northern end of the beach which supposedly resembles a bear with its cub. This beach is off the beaten track, and is located 45 minutes from Lisbon, best reached by a hired car. For something more local, we recommend the Carcavelos beach, which is half an hour away using public transport.

3. El Saler, Valencia


Located on the southern end of Valencia, in the heart of the La Albufera Natural Park, the El Saler beach is around half an hour from the centre of the city. El Saler’s beautiful natural setting of golden, fine sand and dunes are impressive as are the idyllic sapphire blue seas. This beach is popular for both locals and visitors

4. Vouliagmeni, Athens

Vouliagmeni beach, Athens

The fashionable coastal suburb of Vouliagmeni is a summer hotspot and the main Akti beach sweeps across the seafront. It is a fun hangout for water sport enthusiasts or for a spot of beach tennis. Dip into the crystal waters of the lake or stroll further around the bay. Overall, a visit to Vouliagmeni makes for a wonderful, exhilarating day retreat and is located in a reachable distance from Athens. The best option is to take a taxi from the centre, which costs roughly 20-30 Euros.

Top-Tip: Use the Plazz app which allows visitors to book a sunbed spot on the beach before arrival to avoid disappointment!

5. Plage du Midi, Cannes

Cannes, South of France

This expansive beach spans the length of the Boulevard du Midi in Cannes, and in the height of summer, play areas for children are set up. The lovely stretch of white sand curves into a rocky peninsula and it is ideal for sunbathing or for a spot of picnic. We love the bars and beach clubs here, as it is generally more affordable than those at the nearby La Croisette district.

6. Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s most popular city beach is Banje which looks over the Croatian crystal clear waters and historic walls of the old town. Located in the city centre of Dubrovnik its convenient location means it’s a must visit, even if it’s just for a wander along the waters! You can choose to bring your own towel or rent one of the day beds from the beach club.

Top-Tip: Go early to get a good spot and to avoid the busy periods.

7. Verige Beach, Montenegro

Verige Beach. Image shared from https://www.facebook.com/verigeBeach

In the summer between June and September, beach clubs appear on many of the Montenegrin beaches. One charming beach club is on the Verige Beach which is located near to the Lepatne Ferry and nestled under the Kotor Bay road. An attractive beach mainly for chilling out, congregating with the locals, swimming or relaxing under the shade, this beach club will not disappoint. There is a fantastic atmosphere, a bar and delicious food cooked onsite which are at a decent price.

Top-Tip: There is a different atmosphere at different times of the day. The mornings are more relaxed, and families with children start to migrate home in the later afternoon and this is when the beach club becomes livelier.

To find out more about any of these amazing cities or to go on a similar trip, give the team a call on 0131 243 8098 or send us an email.

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